Audience

Concerts and Events

2021-2022 Concert Season

If you have questions about events, send email to concerts@fssgb.org or call Lynn at (781) 227-7500.


Upcoming FSSGB Events:


Please read our (evolving) statement about our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. All upcoming events may potentially be cancelled or moved to an online (live-streaming) format, so please keep a close eye on the website and email for late-breaking details.

Please try to support your favorite artists, who will be losing much or all of their income for the forseeble future. Buy their CDs, support them on Patreon.com (if they have accounts there), attend livestreamed concerts and make online donations if a mechanism is in place to do so.

Here are some links to live-streamed concerts and calendars:

Here's what we presented earlier this season:

  • Sat., Sept. 18, 2-4pm ET: Peter Johnson Memoir Celebration (livestream)
  • Fri., Nov 5, 7pm ET: Sara Grey and Kieron Means House Concert (livestream)
  • Sun., Dec 5, 11am ET: Martyn Wyndham-Read Holiday Brunch Concert (livestream)
  • Sun., Dec 12, 7pm ET: Holiday Singing Party (livestream)
  • Sat., Jan. 22, 2022, 7pm ET: Annual FSSGB Members' Concert (livestream)
  • Sat., Feb 5, 2022: Archie Fisher Cancelled!
  • Sat., Feb. 26, 2022, 3pm ET: Martin Carthy (livestream) Rescheduled!
  • Sat., March. 5, 2022, 3pm ET: The Wilsons (livestream)
  • Sat., March. 19, 2022, 3pm ET: Zoe Mulford (livestream)
  • Sat. April 2, 2022: Andy Cohen House Concert and Guitar Workshop Cancelled!
  • Fri., April 22, 2022: FSSGB Singing Party at the New England Folk Festival, 7pm ET
  • Fri., May 6, 2022: Ian Robb with fiddler James Stephens, 7pm ET


    The Laughing Lesson

    Peter Johnson Memoir Celebration

    Saturday, September 18, 2021, 2-4pm

    Please join us as we celebrate the publication of Peter Johnson's long-awaited memoir, The Laughing Lesson, published by Peter E Randall Publisher. Peter is a long-time member of FSSGB, and is the founder of Living Folk Records and Concerts.

    The event will feature music (performers TBD) with plenty of opportunities to sing along! and Peter will do readings from his book.

    Peter is a singer, concert promoter, record producer, writer, traveler, prankster, husband, father, and a fixture of the Cambridge music scene for the last fifty years. He is a member of the family that started, and still manages, Fidelity Investments. As the founder of Living Folk Records and Concerts, he introduced a number of traditional musicians from Ireland and the British Isles to North American audiences, thereby shaping the trajectory of this important music genre as it gained a larger place in world music.

    For more information, visit the publisher's website: https://perpublisher.com/portfolio-item/the-laughing-lesson/

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    Windborne

    Windborne House Concert

    Will be rescheduled for after we can convene safely in person!

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    Alison and Geordie

    Geordie McIntyre and Alison McMorland Brunch Concert (online)

    Cancelled -- we'll reschedule when they're able to perform again.
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    Sara Grey and Kieron Means

    Sara Grey and Kieron Means House Concert (livestream)

    Friday, November 5, 2021, 7pm
    No reservations required. Audience is encouraged to make a donation for the performers: Click the Donate button on this page.

    Sara Grey is one of the most gifted and knowledgeable artists working in the field of traditional music. Sara's singing is both powerful and sweet, with a distinctive and lovely tremolo. It is a voice well suited to native American songs and ballads of Ireland and Scotland.

    It is not Sara's lovely voice alone that makes her one of the most popular singers on the folk scene; on many of her songs Sara accompanies herself by frailing a five string banjo and, when playing dance tunes, it is obvious why she is regarded as one of the foremost exponents of the clawhammer style. As well as singing and playing, Sara is well known for her storytelling - specialising in stories from New England where she grew up learning many of her stories from her father.
    "She is one of a select band of performers who still breathe life into traditional ballads." Vic Smith, Folk Roots
    "Sara Grey has quietly and powerfully taken over the mantle of premier interpreter of American traditional music." Tor Jonassen, WRDV

    Sara grew up in New Hampshire but has lived in North Carolina, Ohio, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wales, Scotland and England. As a youngster in North Carolina she developed a love for old time songs and banjo music. She cites Kyle Creed as the chief influence on her understated, syncopated clawhammer banjo style. She has now been performing professionally for more than 30 years.

    Kieron Means is a singer primarily of traditional songs but also of contemporary songs and guitar player of great merit. He has a great rapport with an audience and has an exceptional professionalism for a young performer. His voice is as smooth as silk, rich and mellow and he sings to his audience not in spite of them.

    Kieron is the son of the traditional singer Sara Grey and music journalist Andrew Means, one time writer for Melody Maker. He was born in the United States and grew up in Britain gaining a great love of the music of both traditions as well as the contemporary scene. He has become a performer of traditional songs from the US and from the UK and many of the contemporary songs he sings he has written himself.

    He has toured in the States and often performed with Sara Grey. In 2000 he has performed at Whitby and Wadebridge festivals where he was received with much acclaim. His first CD has received much praise with air play on Travelling Folk and Mr Anderson's Fine Tunes both on radio Scotland. An article on him will shortly be appearing in Folk Roots magazine.

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    Martyn Wyndham-Read

    Martyn Wyndham-Read Holiday Brunch Concert (online)

    Sunday, December 5, 2021, 11am ET
    No reservations required. Audience is encouraged to make a donation for the performers: Click the Donate button on this page.

    Martyn Wyndham Read is an Australian National Treasure. A regular visitor to Australia for many years, Martyn probably did more than most to educate Australians about their heritage. Martyn has been involved with folk music for over forty years. In his late teens he left his mother's farm in Sussex and headed off with his guitar to Australia where he worked on a sheep station Emu Springs in South Australia. It was while he was there that he heard, first hand, the old songs sung by some of the station hands at Emu Springs and he became captivated by these songs and the need to know more of them and where they came from grew.

    English by birth, Martyn first developed his great interest in folksongs of the outback when he went to Australia in the early 1960's. There, while working on the sheep station, he gained first hand experience of life as a bush worker and at the same time fell in love with Australia and its music. During his subsequent travels he spent much of his time seeking out and learning old songs directly from drovers, cane cutters and other bush workers. As the folk song revival gathered pace in Australia, Martyn found himself singing these songs to audiences all across the Australian continent and after seven years down under, he returned to England where he performed these songs to an appreciative British audience. Concert tours spreading his style of music to the far corners of the world have been the norm since then.

    To date his recording career spans over 30 years and more than 30 albums, many considered classics of their genre. One of the most engaging performers you're ever likely to see, his exceptionally intimate performance combines songs, humorous bush poetry recitations, stories and anecdotes of outback life and comments on Australian history and culture that typically leave the audience ready to book the next flight out to Sydney!

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    Holiday Singing Party (online)

    Sunday, December 12, 2021, 7pm ET

    No reservations required.

    Please join us for an online holiday singing party!

    A few people will take turns leading songs, and others will be able to sing along from their homes. (We know, it's not as much fun as all singing together in person, but it's the best we can do for now.)

    We'll build in some time for people to socialize, before and after the singing. This should be a lot of fun! Keep an eye on the website and email for details.

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    Pub Carol Sing

    Cancelled due to the pandemic -- we'll meet again next year!

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    Midweek Singers

    Annual FSSGB Members' Concert (online)

    Saturday, January 22, 2022, 7pm

    Please join us for a somewhat non-traditional Members' Concert! This is a favorite event of the year for many of us — an opportunity to delight in the rich and diverse talents of FSSGB members, old and new.

    All FSSGB members are invited to sign up to perform one song or tune. Please contact Lori Fassman (lori@fassman.com, 978-264-9710) by January 8 to reserve a spot.

    All performers will be in the Zoom meeting (muted during others' performances), and the show will be livestreamed to Facebook so everyone else can watch. (You don't need to have a Facebook account to watch the livestream.)

    We will accept donations during the performance which will benefit FSSGB. Once we're allowed to convene in public again, much of that money will go to scholarships which enable young Boston-area musicians to attend folk music camps.

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    Martin Carthy

    Martin Carthy House Concert (online)

    Saturday, February 26, 2022, 3pm ET Rescheduled!
    Admission: $10 (no refunds)
    The concert was livestreamed to YouTube.

    For more than 50 years Martin Carthy has been one of folk music's greatest innovators, one of its best loved, most enthusiastic and, at times, most quietly controversial of figures. His skill, stage presence and natural charm have won him many admirers, not only from within the folk scene, but also far beyond it.

    Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick and his award-winning wife (Norma Waterson) and daughter Eliza Carthy have resulted in more than 40 albums, but Martin has only recorded 10 solo albums, of which the much anticipated Waiting for Angels (Topic TSCD527) was the latest. Whether in the folk clubs (which he continues to champion), on the concert stage or making TV appearances (he was the subject of the acclaimed `Originals' music documentary strand on BBC 2) – there are few roles that Martin Carthy hasn't played.

    He's a ballad singer, a ground-breaking acoustic and electric-guitarist and an authoritative interpreter of newly composed material. He always prefers to follow an insatiable musical curiosity rather than cash in on his unrivalled position. Perhaps, most significant of all, are his settings of traditional songs with guitar, which have influenced a generation of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, on both sides of the Atlantic.

    'Arguably the greatest English folk song performer, writer, collector and editor of them all' Q Magazine

    'Carthy is a master of the ballad of substance, songs that tell stories, whether they are traditional, his own or from contemporary writers.' The Telegraph

    FSSGB is partnering with Falcon House Concerts, Old Songs, the Folk Music Society of NY, Inc, the Branford Folk Music Society, and the Folklore Society of Greater Washington to bring you the livestream from the Falcon Audio Visual Arts Studio.in Whitby, UK.

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    The Wilson Family

    The Wilsons House Concert (online)

    Saturday, March 5, 2022, 3pm ET
    Admission: $10 (no refunds) - link will be sent to registered attendees
    The concert will be streamed on YouTube. A link to the concert and a reminder will be emailed to registered attendees a day before the concert.
    Use this link to register: https://oldsongs.org/concerts/

    The Wilson Family consists of sister Pat and brothers Tom, Chris, Steve, Ken and Mike. They still record and release the odd album every now and again, the most recent being Stocking Tops produced by the wonderful Mr Steve Rusby. They sing traditionally orientated songs in unaccompanied harmony, like to have a bit of a laugh and wash it all down with a few odd pints.

    2008 marks 35 years since Tom, Chris and Steve made their first, tentative foray into harmony group singing. Even more incredible is that it’s almost 30 years since Pat, Ken and Mike joined in, and the line-up has barely altered in that time. As individuals they all have our own ideas on who and what has had the greatest influence on their singing and material. The non-hierarchical, selective list that follows is given as the one that we call all best agree on, as being the most influential on us in the early days: the Copper Family, Fred Jordan, Swan Arcade, the Watersons, The Young Tradition, Martin Carthy, Peter Bellamy, Tony Rose, Dick Gaughan, Roy Bailey, Graeme MilesJim Mageean, and Johnny Collins.

    It has been well documented that their harmonies are not "worked" out, but happen quite spontaneously. Since they all learnt to speak from the same two sources, their voices were always going to be similar. They were lucky to have had a naturally developed variety of tonal ranges, and their singing is more to do with "voice blending" rather than classical firsts, thirds and fifths.

    FSSGB is partnering with Falcon House Concerts, Old Songs, the Folk Music Society of NY, Inc, the Branford Folk Music Society, and the Folklore Society of Greater Washington to bring you the livestream from the Falcon Audio Visual Arts Studio.in Whitby, UK.

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    Zoe Mulford

    Zoe Mulford House Concert (online)

    Saturday, March 19, 2021, 3pm
    Admission: $10 (no refunds) - link will be sent to registered attendees
    Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Tulip0852/live

    Zoe Mulford is rapidly becoming best-known as the writer of "The President Sang Amazing Grace," which has been covered by Joan Baez and by Kronos Quartet featuring Meklit. The song was voted 2018 "Song of the Year" by Folk Alliance International.

    Originally from Pennsylvania, she first started performing her own songs while living in North Carolina in the 1990's. Since then, she has released five albums on the cooperative Azalea City Recordings label. She now lives in the North of England and tours on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Zoe has been compared to Joan Baez as regards her story telling focused songwriting and nonlaboured vocal style. Zoe took up the guitar and fell in love with the banjo during a twelve-year stint in Durham, North Carolina. Four years in Washington, DC introduced her to the community of contemporary songwriters, including her label-mates at the Azalea City Recordings cooperative. She released her first album in 2003, and then 2006, 2009 and 2013.

    In 2006, she moved to the north of England. She now divides her time between Philadelphia, PA and Manchester, UK and tours on both sides of the Atlantic. Her songs have been covered by an array of artists including Rhiannon Giddens (with Gaelwynd).

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    Andy Cohen

    Andy Cohen - Two Events!

    Cancelled - will be rescheduled - Stay tuned!:
    • Guitar workshop
    • House Concert

    Andy Cohen is a virtuoso finger-style guitarist who has been described as "a walking, talking folk-blues-roots music encyclopedia." He grew up in a home with a piano and lots of Dixieland Jazz records. During the Sixties Folk Revival, he got hooked on the music of Big Bill Broonzy and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. When Andy was 16, he heard South Carolina's Rev. Gary Davis perform and the effect on him was profound. He has devoted his life to studying, performing, and promoting traditional blues and folk music of the pre-World War II era. Andy has toured solo, as well as with Martin, Bogan and Armstrong, John Jackson, Rev. Gary Davis, Brother Daniel Womack, Rev. Dan Smith, Jim Brewer, and Honeyboy Edwards. He also worked extensively with Walt and Ethel Phelps, Big Joe Duskin, Pigmeat Jarrett, Etta Baker, Big Boy Henry, and James "Son" Thomas.

    Andy has more than a dozen recordings to his credit, including Oh Glory, How Happy I Am: The Sacred Songs of Rev. Gary Davis and Andrew M. Cohen: Dolceola Favorites. An enthusiastic proponent of the dolceola, Andy says he "never leaves home without it." Described by some as a "miniature piano," the dolceola has a keyboard, but the strings are struck with wooden mallets.

    Along the way, Andy earned a Master's Degree in anthropology. His passions come together in his essay on "The Hands of Blues Guitarists," published in Ramblin' On My Mind: New Perspectives On the Blues, edited by David Evans (2008).

    At an Andy Cohen concert, expect to hear blues rooted in Mississippi, the Piedmont, Memphis, and Chicago, as well as some ragtime, gospel, and original tunes.

    In 2011 Andy received the Eisteddfod Award from The Eisteddfod Traditional Music Festival. Festival Director Dr. Jerome Epstein said, "We decided to give the award to Andy, one of this year's performers, because of his outstanding contributions to the field of traditional music, as performer, collector, and advocate." In 2012 Andy received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Autoharp Gathering.

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    Ian Robb and James Stephens

    Ian Robb with James Stephens House Concert (online)

    Friday, May 6, 2022, 7pm ET
    No reservations required. Audience is encouraged to make a donation for the performers: Click the Donate button on this page.

    A founding member of the award-winning Friends of Fiddler’s Green, and a third of the acclaimed vocal harmony trio Finest Kind, Ian Robb is one of North America’s most respected singers of English traditional song, with a singing career spanning more than 30 years. He bought his first English concertina in the 1970s, using it first for song accompaniment, and gradually evolving a solid, rhythmic style of playing dance tunes. Ian has been a long-time builder and advocate of the folk music scene; he co-founded the Old Sod Folk Music Society of Ottawa, served several years as a regular columnist for Come for to Sing and Sing Out! Magazines, and has been a board member of the Canadian Folk Music Society and Canadian Vice-President of Local 1000, the travelling musicians’ union. In addition to his work with The Friends of Fiddler’s Green and FinestKind, Ian has three previous solo albums to his credit.

    Perhaps best-known as a record producer (winner of the 2003 Porcupine Award as Producer of the Year), James Stephens is one of Canada’s most versatile and inventive fiddle players, mastering a multitude of styles from Cape Breton to Bluegrass, Québecois to Appalachian Old Time, Irish to Ottawa Valley. James plays "anything that has four strings", and works his way through viola, violin, mandolin and tenor guitar in the course of a performance. He has played with a Who’s Who of Canadian folk music,from Lynn Miles to Finest Kind, and has a shady previous life in classical and rock music.

    "James has worked with such a variety of singer-songwriters, traditional musicians, fiddlers and God knows what over the years, I think every one of them has informed his ability," said Ian from his Ottawa home. "It’s one of the reasons I had no hesitation in asking James to be on this project. I’ve worked with him for many years, and I know he understands where I’m coming from and my aesthetic when it comes to traditional music."

    Ian and James have been making music together for 25 years, and there's a strong mutual admiration between the two artists.

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    Sam Gleaves and Deborah Payne

    Sam Gleaves and Deborah Payne (Outdoor) House Concert

    Saturday, July 2, 2022, potluck supper at 6pm, concert at 7pm
    Rain date: Sunday, July 3, 2022, same times as above
    Acton, MA
    Requested donation: $20
    $5 for students
    Reservations required: email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
    reservations and directions.

    Rooted in Appalachian sounds, Gleaves' songwriting sings of contemporary rural life and social issues. While earning a degree in Folklore at Berea College, Gleaves performed with the Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble directed by Al White. In 2015, Gleaves collaborated with Grammy-winning producer Cathy Fink and released a debut record of original songs, titled “Ain’t We Brothers,” which has been featured by The Guardian, National Public Radio, and No Depression. Gleaves tours extensively in the U.S. and he has performed in Ireland, England, Canada, Japan and Italy. In 2017, Gleaves released a duo recording with Tyler Hughes which received glowing reviews from Fatea, Rock n Reel, fROOTS, and others. In 2018, Gleaves collaborated with Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer on a trio recording, "Shout & Shine," which Justin Hiltner of the Bluegrass Situation called, "viscerally powerful...a perfect illustration of cross-generational mind melds and musical melds." A passionate teaching artist, Gleaves has shared Appalachian traditions at numerous music camps, colleges, universities, and public schools. He currently serves as a traditional music instructor and director of the Bluegrass Ensemble at Berea College.

    Deborah Payne is a fiddler and singer from Berea, Kentucky. Deborah’s music is strongly infused by some of the region’s most beloved musicians with mentorship by artists such as Jean Ritchie, the McLain Family Band, and Michael Cleveland. Deborah has maintained the traditions of the region playing for folk dances, teaching children’s dance, and providing lessons for area students. Deborah has played and toured both locally and internationally with numerous bluegrass and old time bands including the Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble, CaneBreak, Sugar Tree, and Sam Gleaves. She has provided music for touring folk dance groups in Italy, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland, England, and supported the Berea College Country Dancers on a tour of China in 2017.

    In 2019, long-time friends Payne and Gleaves released their first recording as a duo, titled "Welcome As the Flowers in May."

    The potluck and concert will be held on a lawn under several canopies. There is plenty of free parking in the driveway, on the lawn and on the street. The potluck isn't coordinated; bring anything you like or come empty-handed - there'll be plenty of food and snacks.

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    Windborne

    Windborne

    wheelchair-accessible
    Saturday, September 17, 7pm
    Doors open at 6:30pm
    First Parish of Watertown
    35 Church Street, Watertown
    $20.00 general admission
    All children 17 and under free
    Tickets can be purchased at the door.
    (See map and calculate directions on MapQuest)
    For public transportation, check the MBTA web site.
    This venue is handicap accessible

    Windborne’s captivating show draws on the singers' deep roots in traditions of vocal harmony, while the absolute uniqueness of their artistic approach brings old songs into the present. Known for the innovation of their arrangements, their harmonies are bold and anything but predictable.

    With a 20-year background studying polyphonic music around the world, Lauren Breunig, Jeremy Carter-Gordon, Lynn Rowan, and Will Rowan share a vibrant energy onstage with a blending of voices that can only come from decades of friendship alongside dedicated practice. The ensemble shifts effortlessly between drastically different styles of music, drawing their audience along on a journey that spans continents and centuries, illuminating and expanding on the profound power and variation of the human voice. The singers educate as they entertain, sharing stories about their songs and explaining the context and characteristics of the styles in which they sing.

    BBC Traveling Folk describes Windborne as “subverting expectations and redefining the genre… just absolutely phenomenal!” Audiences and critics lavish praise upon the singers not only for their technical mastery, but for the passion, engagement, and connection with each other and the audience that imbues each performance with a rare power.

    But there’s another, crucial dimension to Windborne that guides and roots their artistry. They are adherents to folk music’s longtime alliance with social activism, labor and civil rights, and other movements that champion the oppressed, the poor, and the disenfranchised. Their latest project, Of Hard Times & Harmony, explores themes of social consciousness, singing in four languages and showcasing the depth of emotion their voices can evoke, as well as moments of true hilarity and wit

    The group is committed to bringing vocal traditions to a younger audience and over the past year has found surprisingly viral success on TikTok for such unlikely genres as Corsican polyphony or early 20th century labor anthems.

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